Cleopatra III of Egypt

For other women named Cleopatra, see Cleopatra (disambiguation).

Cleopatra III (Greek: Κλεοπάτρα; 161101 BC) was a queen of Egypt 142101 BC.

Cleopatra III was also known as Cleopatra Euergetis while associated with her husband Ptolemy VIII or her son Ptolemy X. She is attested as Cleopatra Philometor Soteira while associated with her eldest son Ptolemy IX. According to Strabo she was sometimes known as Cleopatra Kokke when discussed in relation to her son Ptolemy X.[1]

Younger years

Cleopatra III’s uncle Ptolemy VIII of Egypt ruled together with her parents from ca 170 to 164 BC at which point he expelled Cleopatra II and Ptolemy VI of Egypt. But he was soon forced to abdicate.[2] Cleopatra III’s parents retook the throne and remained in power for almost 20 years until 145 BC. It was during this time that Cleopatra III was born (sometime between 160 and 155 BC), a sister of Ptolemy Eupator, Cleopatra Thea and possibly Berenice.[3][4]

After the death of her father Ptolemy VI from injuries sustained when falling from his horse during the battle of Oinoparas against Alexander Balas, Cleopatra III’s uncle Ptolemy VIII became the King of Egypt again.[3]

Joint rule with her mother and husband

Ptolemy VIII first married Cleopatra III’s mother Cleopatra II in 145 BC, and married Cleopatra III in c. 139 BC. Cleopatra II rebelled against Ptolemy VIII in c. 132 BC and Cleopatra III fled to Cyprus in 130 BC with her husband, but was able to return to Alexandria in 127 BC.[2]

Cleopatra III and Ptolemy VIII had five children:[1][4]

Wall relief of Cleopatra III, Cleopatra II and Ptolemy VIII before Horus

In c. 124 BC Cleopatra III and her husband were joined again by her mother Cleopatra II as a joint ruler.

Joint rule with her sons

After the death of Ptolemy VIII in 116 BC Cleopatra III ruled jointly with her mother Cleopatra II and her son Ptolemy IX.[2]

Cleopatra III expelled Ptolemy IX from Alexandria in 107 BC and replaced him as co-regent with her second son Ptolemy X. After 6 years of joint rule Ptolemy X had his mother Cleopatra III murdered in 101 BC.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Cleopatra III by Chris Bennett
  2. 1 2 3 Ptolemy VIII by Chris Bennett
  3. 1 2 Ptolemy VI by Chris Bennett
  4. 1 2 Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2004
Cleopatra III of Egypt
Born: ca. 160 – 155 BC Died: 101 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra II
Queen of Egypt
142 BC-131 BC
with Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra II
Succeeded by
Cleopatra III
Preceded by
Cleopatra II
Queen of Egypt
127 BC-101 BC
with Ptolemy VIII, Cleopatra II, Ptolemy IX and Ptolemy X
Succeeded by
Ptolemy X and Berenice III


Roth, Lea. (2007). Cleopatra°. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 754. 

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